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Current Nutrition & Food Science


ISSN (Print): 1573-4013
ISSN (Online): 2212-3881

Mini-Review Article

The Importance of Nutrition and a Balanced Diet in the Elderly during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Author(s): Özge Esgin* and Tayyibe Erten

Volume 18, Issue 8, 2022

Published on: 27 May, 2022

Page: [698 - 705] Pages: 8

DOI: 10.2174/1573401318666220308154735

Price: $65


Background: Age is an important risk factor for the mortality rate in the COVID-19 disease, and mostly, hospitalised patients over 60 years with chronic diseases are at high risk of death due to this disease. Along with preventive measures, proper nutrient intake might be helpful in maintaining a healthy state or reduce the severity of the COVID-19 disease in the elderly.

Methods: The search was carried out in the PubMed, Scopus, Medline, Google Scholar and Web of Science using the following terms: COVID-19, coronavirus, elderly, elderly nutrition.

Results: The requirement for some macro and micronutrients, especially the nutrients that support the immune activity, increases in this disease. During the pandemic, the daily energy requirement for the elderly is 27-30 kcal/kg, while the protein intake is at least 1g/kg, and the ratio of fat and carbohydrate is 30:70 or less than 50:50. The daily intake of vitamin A, B6, B12, C, D, zinc and selenium can also be increased due to their supporting function in the immune system. Probiotics include Bifidobacterium longum MM-2, Lactobacillus plantarum 06CC2, Lactobacillus bulgaricus OLL1073R-1 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus M21, and the consumption of prebiotics in diet enhances the immune function. Additionally, flavonoids, such as baicalin, epigallocatechin gallate, gallocatechin gallate, kaempferol, luteolin, resveratrol and quercetin, improve immunity by reducing oxidative stress in the elderly.

Conclusion: Adequate and balanced nutrition diet should be applied during the pandemic; in addition to this, micronutrient deficiencies should also be overcome in the elderly at every stage of life.

Keywords: Pandemic, coronavirus, aging, nutrients, COVID-19, chronic diseases.

Graphical Abstract
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